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Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis



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  #121  
Old January 27th, 2008, 10:08 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
It is not canon that Dumbledore deliberately arrnaged the murder of Snape, either. This is just a deduction you and others are making from the canon facts. Even if you are truly right that your view is the most logical deduction from the facts at hand, we still do not know that this is the thought process Dumbledore followed, because he barely touched on this part of the plan in his discussion with Harry. Dumbledore has been known to make mistakes.
I respect your view, but I think the word "deliberately" over states what Dumbledore was trying to do. He had plans and one side effect of his plan was that Snape's potential paths to death increased.


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Whether he deliberately planned for Snape to be killed (so Voldemort would falsely believe himself Master of the Wand), or whether he merely used Snape to neutralize the wand despite the increased risk to Snape (in the event Voldemort put everything together and came after Snape before Snape was done with his other missions), I think his rationale would be the same. Snape agreed to help Dumbledore protect Harry from Voldemort; and this is the goal of the Elder Wand plan, in all the myriad versions of it we are tossing about.
But protecting Harry and dying for Harry are not the same thing. I don't see how one can rationalize Dumbledore's actions in this case. I like Dumbledore and everyone else in the series far more than Snape - but I would never call what Dumbledore did to Snape just if he didn't tell him about the Elder wand. That is flat out betrayal of trust - deadly betrayal. Neither Snape nor anyone else should be treated in that fashion, imo.


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  #122  
Old January 27th, 2008, 10:56 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I think that Dumbledore viewed Snape as a valuable spy. But he had to think of him as expendable to put him such dangerous situations.


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  #123  
Old January 27th, 2008, 11:01 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
IBut protecting Harry and dying for Harry are not the same thing.
They are, if the manner/reason for the death protects Harry in some way. The concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Did Dumbeldore have reason to suppose Snape's commitment to protecting Harry went that far? In a word, yes. He did other things for Harry that could have gotten him killed.


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  #124  
Old January 28th, 2008, 7:36 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
They are, if the manner/reason for the death protects Harry in some way. The concepts are not mutually exclusive.
Snape's death did not protect Harry from his point of view. He believed Harry had to die at Voldemort's hand.

From Snape's POV: It is possible that he did not figure out that Dumbledore had betrayed him. If he did not know about the Elder Wand and did not know that Dumbledore knew Voldemort would seek it - it could appear to Snape that Voldemort had merely outwitted Dumbledore. Nonetheless, since Harry had to die at the hand of Voldemort (as Dumbledore told him), it didn't matter. Voldemort would use the wand to kill Harry and at that point Voldemort would become vulnerable to death himself. Snape figured that someone would eventually kill the dark lord at that point. But there is nothing here related to protecting Harry.

It is also possible that Snape thought that Dumbledore must have known and that he'd wanted Snape to kill him so Voldemort would believe as he did. Then he would feel betrayed. But his actions still would not be in 'protection of Harry' because from his POV, Harry was going to die anyway. Snape might have figured out that Dumbledore had done it to make Voldemort vulnerable because he knew he had killed Dumbledore at his request and he may have thought the power of the wand would not therefore transfer. But if Snape didn't know the lore - he might have believed that the power had transfered and that Voldemort would be the master. Again, it didn't really matter because Harry had to die anyway and someone could kill Voldemort without using a wand in the future.

But anyway you look at it, since Harry was going to die, Snape did not think his death was in any way protecting Harry. Thus, it had nothing to do with his old promise.

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Did Dumbeldore have reason to suppose Snape's commitment to protecting Harry went that far? In a word, yes. He did other things for Harry that could have gotten him killed.
It would not matter because Snape's death did not protect Harry as far as Snape was concerned. In fact, if he believed Voldemort was empowered by the wand, it actually helped ensure Harry's death.


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  #125  
Old January 28th, 2008, 8:27 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
This is what I figured too. I think Dumbledore planned to tell Snape to retrieve the wand to either keep it, or hide it, once the wand was neutralized. Only, it never was, and that was when Dumbledore's portrait departed from the original plan.
In this plan too, there would be no problems, because apart from Dumbledore no one knew Draco was the master of the elder wand; not even Draco himself. How do you think, this change would have made Dumbledore keep quiet about the wand? In fact this would make the plan even more foolproof. Voldemort would kill Snape for the wand and yet he would not be its true master, because Draco was.

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Interesting idea, but I have my doubts. Dumbledore should have evinced more interest in Snape's plans to accomplish his bits of the plan, if this were truly what Dumbledore was after. Based on the actual events in DH, Snape seems to have a plan up his sleeve that would make it possible for him to pass his message without even coming into personal contact with Harry - he has established his Patronus as an ally of Harry's, and might be planning to use that to communicate.
Possible and in fact a better idea than confronting Harry, because Harry inexplicably trusted the doe and felt an affinity towards her., but for that he has to remain alive. And for that he has to make sure Voldemort would not be suspicious about him in any way. And for that he has to know that Voldemort may hunt him down and kill him for the elder wand. Only then could he take precautions. We see he has nothing else up his sleeve, because the memories pour from him before he dies, on seeing Harry. of course he may have had something else prepared, but it did not look like it.

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It is not canon that Dumbledore deliberately arrnaged the murder of Snape, either. This is just a deduction you and others are making from the canon facts. Even if you are truly right that your view is the most logical deduction from the facts at hand, we still do not know that this is the thought process Dumbledore followed, because he barely touched on this part of the plan in his discussion with Harry. Dumbledore has been known to make mistakes.


Yes it is not canon, in the sense it is stated bluntly. But what else would be the implications of Dumbledore’s words that he knew that Voldemort would go after the elder wand from GoF and it would be as much as an obsession he had with Harry? also he says it was his intention to make Snape end up with the elder wand? So the only question that is not answered is did Snape know? Unfortunately there is not much to say he did, because Snape is not prepared when Voldemort releases Nagini to kill him and he has not apparently made alternative arrangements to pass on the message. Of course the last mentioned is something that is not canon, but the rest is.

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Whether he deliberately planned for Snape to be killed (so Voldemort would falsely believe himself Master of the Wand), or whether he merely used Snape to neutralize the wand despite the increased risk to Snape (in the event Voldemort put everything together and came after Snape before Snape was done with his other missions), I think his rationale would be the same. Snape agreed to help Dumbledore protect Harry from Voldemort; and this is the goal of the Elder Wand plan, in all the myriad versions of it we are tossing about.
I don’t think I understood this properly. Are you saying that whatever Dumbledore plans, Snape would have done what he did?

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I respect your view, but I think the word "deliberately" over states what Dumbledore was trying to do. He had plans and one side effect of his plan was that Snape's potential paths to death increased.
Looks like it and Snape’s reaction shows he really did not know about the elder wand or if he knew, he believed Voldemort would not kill him at that time. (a bit lame) but those are the only 2 possibilities and the latter is doubtful, seeing that Snape was not prepared when he was talking with Voldemort (he goes for his wand only after Voldemort tells him about the elder wand. Until then he really is not paying much attention. Had he known, Snape would have been far more alert and also would have also prepared for an eventuality like this.

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But protecting Harry and dying for Harry are not the same thing. I don't see how one can rationalize Dumbledore's actions in this case. I like Dumbledore and everyone else in the series far more than Snape - but I would never call what Dumbledore did to Snape just if he didn't tell him about the Elder wand. That is flat out betrayal of trust - deadly betrayal. Neither Snape nor anyone else should be treated in that fashion, imo.
Both protectiong Harry and dying for Harry should have been Snape’s choice IMO. He was given a choice to protect Harry some 18 years ago. Was he given a choice to die for Harry in book 6 is what we don’t know.

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posted by zgirnius
Did Dumbeldore have reason to suppose Snape's commitment to protecting Harry went that far? In a word, yes. He did other things for Harry that could have gotten him killed.
That was with his knowledge. He knew he could get killed anytime and he was okay with it. I also agree Snape’s commitment went that far. But do you think just because Snape was that committed, his commitment should be taken for granted and it was okay to manipulate him, only for the good, I don’t dispute, but was it okay to manipulate him without his knowledge? If we come to know Dumbledore did not tell Snape that is.


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  #126  
Old January 28th, 2008, 10:22 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

If Dumbledore had flat out asked Snape if he would die for Harry, imo, Snape would have said "no!". He loathed Harry and claimed he did not care about him.


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  #127  
Old January 28th, 2008, 1:04 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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If Dumbledore had flat out asked Snape if he would die for Harry, imo, Snape would have said "no!". He loathed Harry and claimed he did not care about him.
Well, I thought Snape would surely say, yes.

Why do you think he would have said 'no' when he had been putting his life on the line for almost 18 years?


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  #128  
Old January 28th, 2008, 2:03 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Well, I thought Snape would surely say, yes.

Why do you think he would have said 'no' when he had been putting his life on the line for almost 18 years?
Because people don't die for those they hate. Snape would die for Lily or to bring down Voldemort I would think. But not for Harry or for James. Snape had placed his life on the line (spying) for 3-4 years in honor of Lily, not Harry.


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  #129  
Old January 28th, 2008, 3:04 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Because people don't die for those they hate. Snape would die for Lily or to bring down Voldemort I would think. But not for Harry or for James. Snape had placed his life on the line (spying) for 3-4 years in honor of Lily, not Harry.
Snape came running to Dumbledore for Lily. He could not unfortunately stop her from dying and after her death promises Dumbledore he will help Harry. I took it to mean he would help Harry until there would come a situation where no help was necessary or until he died, which is what happened.

I think Snape helped Harry for Harry's sake because he wanted to.

But if I were to go with your post that Snape placed his life on the line for Lily's sake only; then this act too will be for her, because until Voldemort is vanquished his work for her sake is not over.

So even if Snape were asked, he would say only 'Yes' IMO.

Though I believe he would said yes, for Harry's sake.


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  #130  
Old January 28th, 2008, 3:56 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
So even if Snape were asked, he would say only 'Yes' IMO.

Though I believe he would said yes, for Harry's sake.


Since he is Mr. Personality, it is possible he would find it necessary to make clear he would be doing it "for" Lily. But I myself find it easier to state that Severus would do this and that thing for Harry, because Lily is dead, and Harry is the actual beneficiary, on a practical level, of Severus's actions. (I also agree, WWB, that people don't die for people that they do not care about, but the conclusion I draw from this is for another thread.).

Lily, whom Severus loved deeply, died to protect Harry, and I don't doubt for a moment that Severus would therefore not draw the line at doing so himself. He would have done "Anything" to keep her alive, and once she died, I believe he would have done "Anything" to keep her sacrifice alive. In my opinion, the moment he went back to Voldemort in GoF, he proved it.

Dumbledore knows the whole sad story, and I think he believed the same of Severus. I think he even understands it on a personal and emotional level. I think he would rather have died, than ever again feel like he did when he realized his own selfish actions and motivations had contributed to the death of Ariana.


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  #131  
Old January 28th, 2008, 5:53 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
Since he is Mr. Personality, it is possible he would find it necessary to make clear he would be doing it "for" Lily. But I myself find it easier to state that Severus would do this and that thing for Harry, because Lily is dead, and Harry is the actual beneficiary, on a practical level, of Severus's actions. (I also agree, WWB, that people don't die for people that they do not care about, but the conclusion I draw from this is for another thread.).
Yes, he would do anything for Harry, but I think he would do almost anything to save other students from DE's and Voldemort too. That is one of the reasons I feel hie does not work for Lily alone. We see it when he sends the students with Hagrid rather than hand them over to the Carrows.

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Dumbledore knows the whole sad story, and I think he believed the same of Severus. I think he even understands it on a personal and emotional level. I think he would rather have died, than ever again feel like he did when he realized his own selfish actions and motivations had contributed to the death of Ariana.
Dumbledore more than anybody else, and I am including Lily in this as well, knew Snape inside out IMO. I think he saw his own despair in Snape all those years ago on the hill.

Albus Dumbledore's actions towards Snape make me grumble a lot, the main being Snape's death, but another one were the words, 'You disgust me.'

I could never understand those words, because if I were to take them literally, Dumbledore does not make sense to me at all, and if they could not be taken literally then what could they have meant?

But perhaps, Dumbledore at that time, was at that time thinking of himself and his own selfishness in wanting out from being the family head, then falling hopelessly in love with GG and the death of Ariana.

It was his bad choices that led to so much unhappiness and a loss, for which he cries a whole century later. He looks at Snape and sees himself, pehaps killing his sister and those words burst out at Snape, who too, has made lousy choices and was now running desperately to try and rectify them.

That's why he trusts Snape completely. because Snape is motivated like him. Both of them are not so different IMO; they are two persons who have a very similar background.


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  #132  
Old January 28th, 2008, 6:17 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Albus Dumbledore's actions towards Snape make me grumble a lot, the main being Snape's death, but another one were the words, 'You disgust me.'

I could never understand those words, because if I were to take them literally, Dumbledore does not make sense to me at all, and if they could not be taken literally then what could they have meant?
I agree with you that Dumbledore knows Severus better than anyone else does. However, this is a knowledge that develops gradually, as they work together in the first war, at Hogwarts, and in the second war. So I don't see the problem with his initial reaction to Severus. He has, at that point, no reason to embrace an opinion of his love for Lily different from the one Voldemort has, that he is superficially attracted to Lily and wants her for himself.

His next actions and everus, and I'm sure Albus was somewhat favorably impressed with Severus's "Anything", but even at that point - it was all just words. It's seeing, through Severus's actions, how deadly earnest he was in that commitment, that I think changed his mind about Severus, to the point that certainly by GoF, he not only trusts Severus's motives, but admires his courage.


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  #133  
Old January 28th, 2008, 7:15 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I agree with you that Dumbledore knows Severus better than anyone else does. However, this is a knowledge that develops gradually, as they work together in the first war, at Hogwarts, and in the second war. So I don't see the problem with his initial reaction to Severus. He has, at that point, no reason to embrace an opinion of his love for Lily different from the one Voldemort has, that he is superficially attracted to Lily and wants her for himself.
Did Dumbledore really think Snape should have asked Voldemort about James's and Harry's lives along with Lily's? Snape wanted to double protect Lily and also knowing that while for him, at that time, Lily's life alone was good enough; for Lily, James and Harry were as important as her life was to him; that was why he came running to Dumbledore IMO. And Dumbledore wanted him to beg Voldemort for the life of a Child destined to kill him, and for a man, who has defied him thrice; who refused to join him and who was Snape's personal enemy as well? How could Snape ask Voldemort?

If he was really disgusted because Snape did not ask, then I think I really don't know Albus Dumbles

That Snape a death eater comes running to a man whom he thought would kill him, says he is not superficially attracted towards Lily. If he was, Voldemort has already promised her to him. Why should he come to Dumbledore, when he thinks, Dumbledore will kill him or worse send him to Azkaban or get him kissed?

Dumbledore is more insightful than that IMO. Well LOL, I at least hope he is more insightful that that. (And I hope insightful is a word as well )

I thought that Dumbledore was disgusted with Snape, because Snape was in a position like he was and was now crying after the milk had been spilt. (Is that right?)

Snape's actions were going to have serious and horrible consequences and I thought Dumbledore went back to the day Ariana died and GG left him and he went to pieces. Snape was like that then, and his words were both for himself and Snape; not for not asking for Harry's and James's lives, but for choosing wrongly like him, in the first place and now suffering the consequences thereof.

The actual woking relationship probably took years to build, and here I think Snape fulfilled his part better than Dumbledore, if we come to know Dumbledore set him up to die, I mean. Otherwise, it was a slowly built, good, trustworty partnership.

Snape followed Dumbledore's instructions perfectly all the time and never wavered from his goal; just like Dumbeldore.


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  #134  
Old January 28th, 2008, 9:16 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Since he is Mr. Personality, it is possible he would find it necessary to make clear he would be doing it "for" Lily. But I myself find it easier to state that Severus would do this and that thing for Harry, because Lily is dead, and Harry is the actual beneficiary, on a practical level, of Severus's actions. (I also agree, WWB, that people don't die for people that they do not care about, but the conclusion I draw from this is for another thread.).
Right...I think too that if Snape truly cared for Harry, he would have never given him the memories. It would have hurt Snape far too much to do so.

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Snape came running to Dumbledore for Lily. He could not unfortunately stop her from dying and after her death promises Dumbledore he will help Harry. I took it to mean he would help Harry until there would come a situation where no help was necessary or until he died, which is what happened.

I think Snape helped Harry for Harry's sake because he wanted to.

But if I were to go with your post that Snape placed his life on the line for Lily's sake only; then this act too will be for her, because until Voldemort is vanquished his work for her sake is not over.

So even if Snape were asked, he would say only 'Yes' IMO.

Though I believe he would said yes, for Harry's sake.
If Snape didn't mean any of the things he did or said as an adult - then who is Snape? The character we saw was a total charade? In reality Snape was a benevolant and loving man who had kind words for everyone and would sacrifice himself at the drop of a hat for any living soul. But he hid beneath the bitter, bullying, cruel and self-serving individual that we see painted in canon?

There is no canon for that and I don't think Dumbledore felt that way about Snape either. He knew Snape well and knew him for what he was.

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I thought that Dumbledore was disgusted with Snape, because Snape was in a position like he was and was now crying after the milk had been spilt. (Is that right?)
'crying over spilled milk' is the saying

Actually, Dumbledore was disgusted because Snape wanted Lily and couldn't care less about James and Harry, imo. Think about it, if Dumbledore thought Snape was going through the same thing he'd gone through when he was younger, he would be sympathetic because Snape was coming to him (doing the right thing). Dumbledore would wish to praise him rather than become disgusted with him.


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  #135  
Old January 28th, 2008, 10:18 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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But he hid beneath the bitter, bullying, cruel and self-serving individual that we see painted in canon?
C'mon guys. Character bashing is character bashing. Let's keep things civil in here.


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  #136  
Old January 28th, 2008, 10:30 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
His next actions and everus, and I'm sure Albus was somewhat favorably impressed with Severus's "Anything", but even at that point - it was all just words. It's seeing, through Severus's actions, how deadly earnest he was in that commitment, that I think changed his mind about Severus, to the point that certainly by GoF, he not only trusts Severus's motives, but admires his courage.
Indeed - Dumbledore says he admires him more than once: "we sort too soon," which means he thinks it is brave that Snape isn't running from Voldemort; "I'm lucky to have you," when Snape is trying to save Dumbledore from the hand-crux; and the numerous times when Dumbledore tells Harry that he trusts Severus, which Snape knows himself because he tells Fake Moody just that.

So Dumbledore had a high opinion of Snape, or he would never have wanted him to have the Elder Wand, and he never would have trusted him to protect Harry. He knew Snape's reformation was real, imo.


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  #137  
Old January 28th, 2008, 11:38 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
So Dumbledore had a high opinion of Snape, or he would never have wanted him to have the Elder Wand, and he never would have trusted him to protect Harry. He knew Snape's reformation was real, imo.
And the power of that sentiment, I feel, is summed up by the tears in Dumbeldore's eyes when we last see the two interact in DH. Dumbledore is overwhelmed by how far Snape has come.


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  #138  
Old January 29th, 2008, 2:32 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Well, I thought Snape would surely say, yes.

Why do you think he would have said 'no' when he had been putting his life on the line for almost 18 years?
Because Snape did what he did not for Harry but for Lily. If Dumbledore had asked Snape if he would die for Harry, I agree with wwb, Snape would have said no. However, if Dumbledore had reminded Snape that it would be helping Lily's son, then Snape would have said yes.

Dumbledore manipulated Snape's love for Lily to get him to fight for the "Greater Good."


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  #139  
Old January 29th, 2008, 2:46 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy
But he hid beneath the bitter, bullying, cruel and self-serving individual that we see painted in canon?
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Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
C'mon guys. Character bashing is character bashing. Let's keep things civil in here.
Ah sorry, here are the references:

"Snape is fun to write, because he is a deeply horrible person." (JKR - Family Education Interview, 1999)

"Snape is loosely based on a sadistic teacher she had." (WBUR interview, 1999]

"As a teacher, the "worst, shabbiest thing you can do" is to bully children (draws parallel to Snape)." (Conversations with JK Rowling)

"Professor Severus snape was Harry's least favourite teacher...Cruel, sarcastic and disliked by everybody except the students from his own house." (Cos, The Whomping Willow).

"[Snape] remains rather cruel, a bully, riddled with bitterness and insecurity - and yet he loved..." (J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007 (2.00-3.00pm BST).

JKR: "Yeh. He's spiteful. He's a bully. All these things are still true of Snape, even at the end of this book." (Vieira, Meredith. "JK Rowling One-On-One: part one." Today Show (NBC) 26 July 2007)

Self-serving: 'You disgust me...You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?' (DH - The Prince's Tale)

"And Harry forgives, even knowing that until the end Snape loathed him unjustifiably. It's totally, totally unfair that he loathes him so much but anyway." (Vieira, Meredith. "JK Rowling One-On-One: part one." Today Show (NBC) 26 July 2007)

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JKR has made it clear that Snape's character does not consist solely of a brave, admirable person, even at the end of his life. Imo, Dumbledore recognized all of Snape's character, not just the 'good'. Because Snape loathed Harry, as indicated in the quote above, it is highly unlikely, based on his character that he would willingly sacrifice his life for Harry if asked to do so by Dumbledore, imo. However, I don't believe Dumbledore would even ask because he knew how Snape felt about Harry based on the negative outcome of the Occulmency lessons (OOTP) and his talks with Snape about Harry (DH - The Prince's Tale).


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  #140  
Old January 29th, 2008, 3:56 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

This thread is for the joint character analysis of Snape AND Dumbledore. I ask that we please stick to it.

The debate goes no where real fast when we start circular arguments over how evil or good Snape is.

Snape also has his own character analysis thread last time I checked.


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